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Editor’s journey

Mabel ends the music debate

SPRINGFIELD, MO. — In 1999, when an evangelical church in Southern California combined its contemporary and traditional services on Sunday morning, some parishioners protested the up-tempo choruses. Preferring the more reverent hymns, some openly contemplated leaving the church.

But 80-year-old Mabel Meguiar, Barry Meguiar’s (Meguiar’s Car Wax) mother, now deceased, put an end to the controversy with the following letter:

“When [the church] returned to one service on Sunday morning, I have to admit I was in shock. I could not believe what I observed was really happening on the platform. But I kept it to myself. I felt very out of place in my own church. It was not worshipful to me to clap, wiggle and raise my hands. All the young people were doing just that and it was very distracting to me.

“A few Sundays later, I really began to observe and fell deep in thought. When I was a teenager, I began to think the church had too many no-no’s…. As our friends became of age, they began leaving the church.

“I wanted so badly to have some jewelry, sleeveless dresses, wear make-up [like] the girls from school. All deadly sins. So when I became of age, I did those things. So did others, but they left the church over it. I stayed. But the old folks never let up on me. I was sought out at every altar call.

“That Sunday morning, a few months ago, I began remembering all that. I looked around and saw young people everywhere worshiping God in their way. Then I realized that now we are the old folks — the very thing I didn’t admire. I had to change.

“To my surprise, I began to enjoy the loud music, the drums and the dancing guitar player. Now when he isn’t on the platform, I’m really disappointed. We sit down in front and I enjoy it so much. I’m not bothered by how loud it is.

“The entire denomination has changed during my lifetime … and it will continue to change. And the young people of today will one day be the old folks … that is, if we old folks don’t drive them away.

“We had our lives. In our last days, let’s not be guilty of driving young people away.”

Hal Donaldson

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